Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Debian LTS Work March/April 2016

The end of April marks the one year anniversary of my Debian LTS contributions.  Unfortunately it also marks the end (for now at least) of my contributions under the Freexian umbrella.  While I think this is important work, I have always struggled to find time to do it between family, my regular Debian and other free software work, and my other consulting work.  I’ve decided to quit pretending I’ve got the time to provide the consistent contribution that Freexian needs for Debian LTS, so this is my final report.

This report covers two months because I was not well at the end of March (nothing serious, but the timing was very poor).  During this time I worked on preparing to start supporting Wheezy LTS and prepared and tested updating clamav from 0.99 to 0.99.1.  Unfortunately, uploading it to Wheezy is blocked on it getting in to Jessie.  In the mean time, upstream released 0.99.2.  Once that is in Jessie, I plan to upload it to Wheezy as well so this effort will not go to waste, it just has to wait a bit.

Python3.5 is default python3 in sid

As of today, python3 -> python3.5.  There’s a bit of a transition, but fortunately because most extensions are packaged to build for all supported python3 versions, we started this transition at about 80% done.  Thank you do the maintainers that have done that.  It makes these transitions much smoother.

As part of getting ready for this transition, I reviewed all the packages that needed to be rebuilt for this stage of the transition to python3.5 and a few common errors stood out:

  1. For python3 it’s {python3:Depends} not {python:Depends}.
  2. Do not use {python3:Provides}.  This has never been used for python3 (go read the policy if you doubt me [1]).
  3. Almost for sure do not use {python:Provides}.  The only time it should still be used is if some package depends on python2.7-$PACKAGE. It would surprise me if any of these are left in the archive.  If so, since python2.7 is the last python2, then they should be adjusted.  Work with the maintainer of such an rdepend and once it’s removed, then drop the provides.
  4. Do not use XB-Python-Version.  We no longer use this to manage transitions (there won’t be any more python transitions).
  5. Do not use XB-Python3-Version.  This was never used.

Now that we have robust transition trackers [2], the purpose for which XB-Python-Version is obsolete.

In other news, pysupport was recently removed from the archive.  This means that, following the previous removal of pycentral, we finally have one and only one python packaging helper (dh-python) that supports both python and python3.  Thanks to everyone who made that possible.




Debian LTS Work December 2015

This was my eighth month as a Freexian sponsored LTS contributor. I was assigned 8 hours for the month of December.  It’s also the month in which I (re)learned an important lesson.

I decided to take another run at backporting the security fixes for Quassel.  Unlike the first time, I was successful at getting the fixes backported.  Then I ran into another problem: the changes took advantage of new features in c++11 such as std::function.

I made an attempt to change things away from c++11 with my limited c++ foo and after running head first into a brick wall several times finally consulted with the upstream author of the original fixes.   He let me know that while the problematic code is in fact present in the quassel versions in squeeze and wheezy, it’s not actually possible to trigger the security issue and that the CVEs should not actually apply to those versions.

That’s my report of a singularly unproductive and unpleasant 8 hours.  Next time I ask upstream first if there’s any doubt.  I shouldn’t assume they only care about current/recent releases.

Debian LTS Work July 2015

This was my third month as a Freexian sponsored LTS contributor. I was assigned 4 hours which was enough for me to release a fix for python-tornado.  This is covered under DLA 279-1.  I also looked at the recent round of security updates for Postfix to see if we should publish an update for postfix 2.7 (which is no longer supported upstream). I haven’t decided for sure since all of the changes are configuration changes that administrators can make on their own and so it’s not clear the risks of breaking working configurations are outweighed on oldoldstable with the benefits of disabling insecure protocols.

Happy Birthday Debian

I’ve been meaning to post this picture for a while.  A few months ago I was at a local pottery/ceramics shop with my family.  They were all decorating things and either my wife or one of my children suggested I do one too.  Art it not my thing. 

I thought about it and finally an idea “I’ll make a Debian coffee mug.”  I used the browser on my phone to go to and then I blew the logo up to the full size of the screen and traced it onto paper.  I used that as a template to paint it onto the largest coffee mug I could find.  Here’s the result.  I hope you enjoy the picture (note the actual coffee stain for authenticity).